Khalil Mack is a lot of things to the Chicago Bears.
He’s their best player on either side of the ball and current face of the franchise. He is their MVP. Mack is a true game-changer because of the elite skills that make him a dominant pass-rusher and stout run-stuffer. Opponents fear him. Coaches game-plan against him. Khalil Mack is the truth.
And more than that, he’s one heck of a hype man:
“Make this [expletive] respect you,” Mack tells quarterback Mitchell Trubisky during a pre-game embrace. “You’re the at best doing it. Make these [expletive] respect you, 10. Love you!”
John Fox used to talk about how certain players make teammates better using the old adage about rising tides lifting all boats. And in that vein, I often think about what coaches have told me about what it’s like when your best player is also your hardest worker. And while he didn’t coach Mack, he definitely checks all those boxes.
Mack didn’t need a rah-rah speech to pump up Trubisky. He kept it simple. And it clearly worked in the first half. This is what good leadership looks like from the team’s best player.
I don’t imagine the relationship between the Bears offense and defense has been smooth sailing the last few years, so I’m all the more impressed and encouraged by this exchange.
Now, how about one for the second half of games?